20 Most Valuable 1993 Topps Basketball Cards

Most Valuable 1993 Topps Basketball Cards


After announcing his first retirement, there would be no Michael Jordan in the 1993-94 NBA season, but he still had a huge presence in the 1993 Topps basketball card set.

Collectors could still find him on five different cards in the 396-card checklist...

Aside from Jordan, you'll find the familiar big names of the era in Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley and many more in the set.

Back then, everyone was also on the lookout for a couple of hyped-up rookie cards in Anfernee Hardaway and Chris Webber, two of the best young stars of the day.

Overall, there was plenty for hobbyists to enjoy.

And in this guide, we look at the 15 most valuable.

Let's jump right in!

Ross Uitts

Ross Uitts - Owner

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Let's be clear: most of the cards from this set do not have any value these days.

Like the 1993 Fleer, Hoops, SkyBox and Upper Deck sets, large print runs saturated the market with these cards, driving down their values.

So, for the cards on this list to be worth much, they'll have to be graded by PSA to be in perfect, gem mint condition.

That means the card needs to be flawless.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's take a look at the list:

1993 Topps #23 Michael Jordan

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $125

You can count the number of players on one hand who've changed the course of an NBA season by not being there.

After the Chicago Bulls won their third straight championship in the summer of 1993, things began to unravel for Jordan.

His now-legendary gambling exploits landed him in hot water with NBA executives.

And depending on who you believe, a suspension may have been close.

It was also a time of significant personal loss.

Shortly after the Bulls won the title, Jordan's father, James R. Jordan Sr., was killed during an armed robbery.

With a possible suspension looming and feeling the effects of burnout and grief, Jordan retired from basketball just a day before training camp.

It was a shocking move.

At just 30 years of age, Jordan had plenty of athleticism left to give.

What would he do now that the NBA was off the table?

Inspired by his father, Jordan decided to try his hand at baseball by signing with the Chicago White Sox and spent the 1994 season playing for the organization's Double-A affiliate, the Birmingham Barons.

Jordan's time as a baseball player was much more flash than substance.

While he brought plenty of attention and tabloid energy to the Minors with him, he could not make up for his lack of baseball polish.

Given time, Air Jordan would put the baseball experiment aside and return to the game he helped to revolutionize with more championships and iconic moments to follow.

1993 Topps #23 Michael Jordan Basketball Card

1993 Topps #199 Michael Jordan Playoff MVP

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $100

After winning three straight NBA Championships from 1991 to 1993, there was no bigger name in basketball than Michael Jordan.

And during that stretch of three consecutive titles, Jordan also became the first player in NBA history to win three straight NBA Finals MVP awards.

When he retired after that third title, no one had any idea he'd come back to accomplish that feat a second time.

But that's precisely what he did, winning three consecutive NBA Championships and NBA Finals MVPs from 1996 to 1998.

Shaquille O'Neal would replicate the feat from 2000 to 2002, but since then, no one else has been able to accomplish what those two did.

1993 Topps #199 Michael Jordan Reigning Playoff MVP Basketball Card

1993 Topps #316 Toni Kukoc Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $75

A three-time EuroLeague MVP and two-time Olympic silver medalist, the legend of Toni Kukoc preceded him to the NBA.

And that legend would only grow from there for the Chicago Bulls draftee (1990) and future Hall-of-Famer.

A dead-eye shooter with a smoothness all his own, Kukoc came to Chicago in 1993-94 during a tumultuous moment in franchise history.

After Michael Jordan retired a day before training camp, the Bulls scrambled to balance their roster in search of a fourth straight NBA title.

Remarkably, the Bulls remained an Eastern Conference powerhouse with Jordan gone, finishing 55-27.

Kukoc slotted in as a first-wave reserve behind Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, using his versatility as a forward to Chicago’s advantage.

Kukoc averaged 10.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in 24.1 minutes per game to earn an All-Rookie Second-Team selection.

And despite missing their generational superstar, the Bulls made it just a step away from an Eastern Conference Final berth.

That was, in large part, thanks to Kukoc.

At the end of Game 3 against the New York Knicks, the 25-year-old Croatian Sensation drilled a picture-perfect 23-foot buzzer-beater on an expertly designed play by head coach Phil Jackson.

The Bulls lost the series in seven, but Kukoc was a revelation.

1993 Topps #316 Toni Kukoc Rookie Card

1993 Topps #64 Michael Jordan 50 Point Club

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $65

To commemorate each player who scored at least 50 points in a single game during the 1992-93 season, Topps produced a "50 Point Club" for Reggie Miller, David Robinson, Nick Anderson and Michael Jordan.

But of this group of players, Jordan was the only one to do it more than once that season.

The reverse of the card particularly calls out the game against Charlotte on March 12, 1993, in which Jordan poured in 52 points on the Hornets.

He also put up 54 against the Lakers, 57 versus Washington and 64 against Orlando.

The 64 points he scored against Orlando were the most of any player during the season and made it the fifth time in his career, at that point, that he'd eclipsed the 60-point mark.

1993 Topps #64 Michael Jordan 50 Point Club Basketball Card

1993 Topps #101 Michael Jordan All-Star

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $65

Collectors could find five-card subsets of "Topps All-Star 1st Team", "Topps All-Star 2nd Team," and "Topps All-Star 3rd Team" cards in Series One packs that featured the best of the NBA.

1st Team All-Stars included Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins, John Stockton, and Michael Jordan.

2nd Team All-Stars included Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, Mark Price, Scottie Pippen, and Joe Dumars.

3rd Team All-Stars included Shaquille O'Neal, Detlef Schrempf, Reggie Miller, Larry Johnson, and Tim Hardaway.

It's anyone's guess how Topps came up with those groupings, but there's no debate that Jordan's card was the most desirable.

1993 Topps #101 Michael Jordan All-Star Basketball Card

1993 Topps #384 Michael Jordan Scoring Leader

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $65

Cards #385 through #394 included ten of the NBA's most prolific scorers in the game, including Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Dominique Wilkins, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley.

These ten cards were labeled as "Future Scoring Leaders" since none of them held the title of the top scorer in the league and their time would perhaps one day arrive down the road.

They'd all have to wait their turn since the reigning scoring leader was none other than Michael Jordan.

Jordan's 32.6 points per game during the 1992-93 season would give him his seventh-consecutive scoring title, tying him Wilt Chamberlain for the record.

And Topps gave the reigning scoring leader his own card to celebrate.

1993 Topps #384 Michael Jordan Scoring Leader Basketball Card

1993 Topps #224 Chris Webber Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $50

After two seasons at the University of Michigan, Chris Webber declared for the draft before the 1993-1994 season.

The Orlando Magic selected Webber with the first pick in the 1993 NBA Draft but traded him to Golden State to pair Shaq with Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway.

As a nod to his incredible talent, Webber became the first college sophomore to be taken first overall since Magic Johnson in 1979.

Throughout his rookie campaign, Webber lived up to expectations by averaging 17.5 points per game, 9.1 rebounds per game, and 2.2 blocks per game.

Webber also added versatility to the roster, as he was a capable center and a strong forward.

However, Webber disliked being used in this fashion, which led to a feud with Warriors head coach Don Nelson.

He wasn't a fan of playing center because he felt his strong ball-handling and passing skills were underutilized at the position.

Despite the drama, Webber became the first rookie to score over 1,000 points, grab 500 rebounds, block 150 shots, and attain 75 steals which led to him being named NBA Rookie of the Year.

1993 Topps #224 Chris Webber Rookie Card

1993 Topps #92 Scottie Pippen

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

The 1993-1994 campaign was out of the ordinary for Scottie Pippen and the Chicago Bulls, as Michael Jordan announced his retirement from basketball before the season.

Even without MJ, Pippen led the Bulls to a 55-win season and a playoff berth.

He also enjoyed his best statistical season as he averaged a career-high 22 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game while adding an impressive 2.9 steals per game.

However, the 1993-1994 season was not all fun and games for the Bulls star.

Midway through the campaign, Pippen was arrested for having a loaded gun in his car.

While there were no charges since the search was illegal, this was not the best headline for the team's new leader.

His image took another blow when Pippen refused to enter a playoff game when head coach Phil Jackson drew up a play that ended with Toni Kukoc taking the final shot.

Despite his reputation being in question because of these incidents, his talent was unquestioned and Pippen proved he could succeed on the court even without Jordan.

The Bulls lost to the Knicks in the postseason, but Pippen ended up finishing third in the MVP voting.

1993 Topps #92 Scottie Pippen Basketball Card

1993 Topps #181 Shaquille O'Neal

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

With Penny Hardaway by his side, Shaquille O'Neal had the perfect playmaker to put the entire NBA on notice.

The 1992-93 NBA Rookie of the Year, O'Neal was the centerpiece of an Orlando Magic team that improved from 21 wins the year before to 41.

The franchise entered the offseason with a brand-new level of optimism, albeit with plenty of challenges to address.

According to multiple sources, Shaq privately (and repeatedly) pushed for head coach Matty Guokas to be replaced by assistant coach Brian Hill.

Instead of letting the tension fester and become a distraction, the front office pulled the trigger, reassigning Guokas and moving Hill to the head coach role.

It worked wonders.

As Hardaway transitioned from shooting guard to the point, Shaq found his groove and rounded out into All-NBA form.

O'Neal led the NBA in field-goal percentage (.599) and finished second to San Antonio's David Robinson in the league's scoring title race (29.3 ppg to Robinson's 29.8).

When Orlando needed a bucket, the newly-minted Third-Team All-NBA center was the battering ram to get it.

In the playoffs for the first time, O'Neal and the Magic received a valuable learning experience against Indiana.

Shaq posted a double-double for the series (20.7 points, 13.3 rebounds), but the Pacers were just better in a convincing three-game sweep.

1993 Topps #181 Shaquille O'Neal Basketball Card

1993 Topps #266 Hakeem Olajuwon

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

With no Michael Jordan in his way, Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon was ready to dominate the NBA and prove he was the best player in the league.

With averages of 27.3 points, 3.9 assists, 3.7 blocks, and 11.9 rebounds, Olajuwon earned the Most Valuable Player award and Defensive Player of the Year.

All he needed to cap off the season was a championship.

The Rockets 58-24 record earned them a 2nd seed in the West, which set them up for an easy 3-1 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Charles Barkley’s defending finalist Phoenix Suns were a much tougher matchup, and the series went seven games before Olajuwon took over in the decisive game.

The Conference Finals were much easier than the previous round, and Houston dispatched the Utah Jazz 4-1.

And in a tight seven-game NBA Finals against the New York Knicks, Olajuwon dominated on offense and defense to lead Houston to championship glory.

He was the leading scorer in every game and held Patrick Ewing to a 36% field goal percentage.

Olajuwon’s 93-94 season is widely considered one of the best individual performances of all time.

1993 Topps #266 Hakeem Olajuwon Basketball Card

1993 Topps #334 Anfernee Hardaway Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

Rookie Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway was selected with the third pick in the 1993 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors but quickly found himself as a member of the Orlando Magic after a draft night trade.

Hardaway's Rookie season resulted in a first-team All-Rookie selection, with 16 points, 6.6 assists, and 5.4 rebounds.

Alongside dominant center Shaquille O'Neal, Hardaway helped lead a very young Magic team to a solid 50-32 record (ironically, the same record as the Warriors team with whom Orlando made the draft night swap.)

That record put them at 4th in the Eastern Conference and landed the franchise its first playoff birth in team history.

However, during their postseason debut, things didn't go so smoothly for the Magic as they squared off against Reggie Miller and his Indiana Pacers in the first round.

Hardaway averaged a robust 18.7 points, but Miller and the Pacers proved far too much for the young Orlando squad to manage, and Indy won the series 3-0.

Hardaway was one of the biggest stars in the NBA in the mid-1990s and ultimately became a four-time All-Star and earned three All-NBA nominations.

Unfortunately, nagging injuries caught up with him and derailed what once looked like a surefire Hall of Fame career. 

1993 Topps #334 Anfernee Hardaway Rookie Card

1993 Topps #373 Charles Barkley

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $40

Barkley was fresh off an MVP season and a deep postseason run entering the 1993-94 NBA season.

And, like so many other superstars, he had high hopes of finally getting a championship ring with Michael Jordan out of the league.

While the 1993-1994 campaign would still be mostly successful for Barkley, it would not run as smoothly as the prior season.

Multiple injuries limited his time on the floor and prevented the Suns from playing as dominantly as they'd hoped.

However, Barkley still managed to average 21.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, which led to his 8th career All-Star selection.

With a 56-26 record and second-place finish in the Pacific Division, the Phoenix Suns booked another trip to the playoffs.

While the Sun's power forward dealt with ailments and saw his overall production drop during the regular season, Barkley stepped up in a big way during the postseason.

In ten playoff games, Barkley averaged over 27 points with 13 rebounds per game and a postseason-leading 2.5 steals per contest.

Barkley and crew blew past the Golden State Warriors in the First Round but ultimately lost a tough seven-game series to the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semifinals.

1993 Topps #373 Charles Barkley Basketball Card

1993 Topps #77 Dennis Rodman

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

After enduring a difficult 1992-93 season because of mental health issues, Dennis Rodman found himself on a new team for the first time in his NBA career.

For years, Rodman had been a key component for the Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys" but soon found himself alongside future Hall of Fame big man David Robinson in San Antonio.

The move worked out well for the San Antonio Spurs as Rodman led the league in rebounds and Robinson paced the league in scoring.

Rodman's 17.3 rebounds per game landed him his 3rd rebound title in a row, while he also averaged 2.4 assists and 4.7 points per game.

1993 Topps #77 Dennis Rodman Basketball Card

1993 Topps #134 Shaquille O'Neal All-Star

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

During his rookie 1992-93 season, Shaquille O'Neal averaged 23.4 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game.

With a massive frame and impressive all-around skillset, it was clear that O'Neal was already one of the best centers in the game.

So, it's no surprise that Topps included him in their "Topps All-Star 3rd Team" subset.

The visual on this card is outstanding as he and another incredibly talented young big man, Alonzo Mourning, battle above the rim.

1993 Topps #134 Shaquille O'Neal All-Star Basketball Card

1993 Topps #152 Shaquille O'Neal All-Rookie Team

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

Cards #150 - 154 and #175 - 179 celebrated the First and Second Team Topps All-Rookie squads, with Shaquille O'Neal's card #152 being the most desirable of the group.

I love the graphics in the background that scream "early 1990s design" while the Hall of Fame center throws down a monster dunk in the foreground.

It was immediately apparent after Shaq's rookie season that he was a generational talent and destined for the Hall of Fame.

1993 Topps #152 Shaq All-Rookie Team Basketball Card

1993 Topps #324 Dennis Rodman

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

With Rodman now on the team, the Spurs finished with a 55-27 record, good enough for second in the Midwest Division while earning them a 4th seed in the playoffs.

However, they faced a formidable First Round opponent in the Utah Jazz, led by superstars Karl Malone and John Stockton.

Throughout the series, Rodman's attitude got the better of him, and interior fights with coach John Lucas became common during the four games.

Neither Rodman nor almost-MVP Robinson lived up to their potential in the series, and the Jazz won in four.

1993 Topps #324 Dennis Rodman Basketball Card

1993 Topps #386 Shaquille O'Neal Future Scoring Leader

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $35

As a rookie the season before, Shaq averaged 23.4 points per game, good enough for the eighth-best mark in the NBA.

Though he was far behind Michael Jordan and his 32.6 points per game average, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before Shaq would eventually grab a scoring title.

He was just too dominant down low and could seemingly score at will.

Just two seasons later, Shaq would find himself atop the scoring leaderboard with a 29.3 points per game average, edging out fellow big men Hakeem Olajuwon (27.8 ppg) and David Robinson (27.6 ppg) for the title.

Shaq would later lead the NBA in scoring with a career-high 29.7 points per game during the 1999-00 season for his second and final scoring title in his storied career.

1993 Topps #386 Shaquille O'Neal Future Scoring Leader Basketball Card

1993 Topps #1 Charles Barkley 1992-93 MVP

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30

During his first season after being traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Phoenix Suns, Charles Barkley proved to his new team they'd made a good move by winning the 1992-93 NBA MVP award.

Over the season, Barkley averaged 25.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and a career-best 5.1 assists per game to lead Phoenix to a 62-20 record and first-place finish in the Pacific Division.

Unfortunately for Barkley and Suns fans, he couldn't lead the team to an NBA title as they fell to Michael Jordan and the Bulls in six.

It was as close as Barkley would ever come to winning a title and the peak of his Hall of Fame career.

Topps honored the legendary power forward by putting him on the first card in the set to celebrate his MVP achievement the season before.

1993 Topps #1 MVP Highlights Charles Barkley Basketball Card

1993 Topps #187 Reggie Miller

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30

The 1993-94 season went about as normal as you'd expect for the sharp-shooting Reggie Miller.

In 79 games, the Indiana Pacers legend averaged 19.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game while being among the NBA's best at the free throw line with a 91% percentage.

Like most teams in the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers looked to capitalize on Michael Jordan's absence from the Chicago Bulls for a rare shot at an Eastern Conference title.

And, they nearly got their wish.

After sweeping the Orlando Magic in the first round and beating the Atlanta Hawks in six in the semifinals, Miller and crew faced off against Patrick Ewing and the Knicks in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The series was an all-out battle as both teams fought tooth and nail before the Knicks were finally left standing after defeating the Pacers 94-90 in Game 7.

It was one of the most memorable playoff showdowns of the early 1990s, as neither team could stand the other.

1993 Topps #187 Reggie Miller Basketball Card

1993 Topps #228 David Robinson

Estimated PSA 10 Value: $30

While Hakeem Olajuwon won the 1993-1994 MVP, David Robinson was not far behind in terms of overall production.

The Spurs' big man was dominant during the season, averaging a league-leading 29.8 points per game.

Robinson and Shaquille O'Neal were batting for the honor all season long.

However, a 71-point effort against the Los Angeles Clippers solidified the title for Robinson.

In addition to his immensely high scoring average, Robinson added 10.7 rebounds per game, 3.3 blocks per game, and even a surprising 4.8 assists per contest from the center position.

Robinson scored 34 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, swatted 10 shots, and added 10 assists in a contest against the Pistons.

By doing so, Robinson also became just the fourth player in NBA history to record a quadruple-double.

Despite the marvelous regular season for Robinson and his Spurs, the team would lose to the Utah Jazz in the first round of the postseason.

1993 Topps #228 David Robinson Basketball Card

1993 Topps Basketball Cards In Review

With a solid lineup of rookies, decent subsets, and plenty of stars and future Hall of Famers, there is plenty to love about this 396-card set.

Though he ultimately chose to retire before the 1993-94 NBA season, Michael Jordan is featured multiple times, and collectors are always on the lookout for any of his cards.

The card designs are nice overall and do a great job featuring full-color action shots throughout the checklist.

Unopened Box of 1993 Topps Basketball Cards

There were several different subsets in the checklist but collectors could find gold parallels inserted one per wax pack, three per rack pack, and ten per factory set.

Collectors could also chase the even rarer Black Gold cards inserted 1:72 hobby/retail packs, 1:18 Jumbo/Rack packs and three per factory set.

Like many sets of the era, this set often gets overlooked in today's market just because the value is less substantial than other basketball cards in the hobby.

That said, I enjoy this set for its nostalgia, as the early 1990s gave me some of my fondest memories of the NBA.

Ross Uitts

Ross is the founder of Old Sports Cards and has been collecting sports cards for over 30 years. He also loves to write about the hobby and has written for Beckett, Topps, SABR and of course, this website. Need help buying or selling cards or have a general question about the hobby? Contact him at [email protected]

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